Search Warrants in Oklahoma
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens from “unreasonable search and seizure.” Law enforcement does not have the right to search you unlawfully. Under most circumstances, a search warrant is required.
Search Warrants Explained
A search warrant is a legal document that allows law enforcement to search a location for specific materials or objects. The warrant must be signed by a judge, and it must list the specific areas to be searched and the officer’s reason for searching the location.
Obtaining a search warrant requires police officers to submit an affidavit under oath. The affidavit is meant to provide the judge with enough evidence to believe the officer has probable cause. Probable cause requires officers to provide evidence and fact— not just a feeling or intuition.
Search warrants do have some limitations. The officer may not search outside the area detailed in the warrant and they may not search or items not listed in the warrant.
When Can I Be Searched Without a Warrant?
There are a few instances in which law enforcement can legally search you without a warrant. For example, if you give an officer permission to search you, they do not have to obtain a warrant. If they ask, you have the right to decline a search.
Giving an officer your consent to perform a warrantless search will, in many situations, be ruled valid by a court even if the search would have been invalid or illegal without that permission.. If you do grant permission, you may stipulate the limits of the search. If you’ve been arrested for a crime, law enforcement has the right to search you.
Law enforcement can also confiscate illegal substances that are in plain view. For example, the officer is at your door and sees an illegal substance on your coffee table, he or she can enter your home and seize it without a warrant.
Fighting For Your Rights
If you or a loved one has been arrested after being searched you do not need to accept the charges against you without a fight. Attorney Bruce Edge and the team at the Edge Law Firm have successfully defended the rights of thousands of Oklahomans, and we’re ready to get to work for you.